Firsts

My friend and fellow St. Thomas More parishioner Milton Morgan celebrated his daughter’s college graduation last weekend. She earned her degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University. They had a rather well-known commencement speaker: Barack H. Obama, President of the United States.

LeVias and Morgan PVILCA Hall of Fame Induction
Elder Statesmen: Jerry LeVias (L) and Milton Morgan (R), at the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame banquet (July, 2015). Jerry went in as a player, and Milton as a coach.

Last summer I wrote about Milton’s induction into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame, where I took the picture above of Coach Morgan and college-football legend Jerry LeVias. (Keeping History Alive)

This year, I am thinking about the firsts involved. In the mid-1960’s, LeVias “broke the ice,” as the first African-American scholarship football player in the old Southwest Conference (SWC). In the 1982, Coach Morgan was an assistant on the Beaumont West Brook football team, the first to ever win a state title in football-mad Texas in their first year of existence. The school was formed from two largely-segregated schools by court order (and that story is told in Farewell to Football). Now Coach Morgan is celebrating the graduation of his daughter, which occasion was commemorated by an address from America’s first African-American President.

I wonder how many firsts are in store for my friend, for football, and for America.

(P. S. I experienced a first myself at Howard University, back when I was still in the Army. I’ll leave that story for another day!)

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